The Boss is a large non-typical whitetail buck. He is the first in a trio of whitetail deer I have been commissioned to revive with beaded skull art.
He is the largest of the three and by far the longest whitetail deer skull I have had the honor of working with. And in the images below, you can see the large mass of bone between his antlers, which reminded me of a buffalo boss. For those two reasons he got his name as soon as he came to me.
The Clay Process
This skull required extra time in the clay process due to that “boss” and several other smaller areas like it, as well as large gaps in the skull structure. I actually had to enlist my husband to file down a bit of the area between the antlers because it was so high on one side, making him very lopsided. However, once the clay was complete, he became much more staple. Can you imagine carry so much extra weight on one side of your head?
The Beaded Skull Art Design
The intricacy of the design also added more time to complete this commissioned beaded skull art piece. My designs are not normally so symmetrical, because skulls are not symmetrical…plus I just love flowing lines. Therefore this type of design is more challenging. However the central design lead the way in the overall scheme and more symmetry felt right. Although the design was tricky and some hard-to-get-to areas around the antlers and back of the eyes were taxing, all in all, considering he is The Boss, he was otherwise quite cooperative.
The length of this skull allowed for an exceptionally large center piece, featuring 3 red carnelian fan sets along with red magma and mocca Swarovski bicone crystals. While gold seed beads give a touch of classy definition the brecciated Jasper brings together the dark berry, deep chocolate and bronze color scheme of this beaded skull design.
Red carnelian is said to represent self-confidence, fearlessness and courage. Although this gemstone was not chosen because of these qualities it certainly is a perfect fit for The Boss.
If you have your own skull, European, or shield mount, whatever the species, Leesa can craft it into a treasured one-of-a-kind artwork centerpiece for you. Contact her at Leesa@UntamedElegance.net or 616.422.2342.
Thor is an outstanding non-typical whitetail deer beaded skull art piece. Are you a fan of the Old Norse red-headed god or the golden-haired Thor of Marvel® fame? Either way he speaks of physical and moral strength and power.
At the center of this beaded skull art design are three diamond shapes made of tiny Siam Swarovski® crystals surrounded by Black Onyx fans and teardrops. This large focal center piece is outlined by brecciated jasper and fire-polished faceted jet-black glass beads. Giving the eyes an aura of fierceness are ruby red and opaque black glass beads. And small groups of light Siam flat back, Swarovski® crystal rhinestone called Xirius add unexpected flashes of red. Theses dazzling crystals are named after Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, fitting perfectly with the theme of this majestic beaded skull art piece.
The Making of “Thor”, a whitetail deer beaded skull mount
Cleaning & Clay
This beautiful non-typical whitetail skull came to me in pretty good shape. Only missing common little bones and discolored. He did, however have some odd bone growth between his eyes. Probably from previous wounds. It was obvious from broken tines that he was a fighter! I definitely expected extra work during the clay process.
Despite bone formation on his forehead the clay process did not take any longer than usual. And his antlers cleaned up fairly well.
I learned how heavy that “hammer” on his right antler is. It made the balance awkward and it got by head a couple of times before I sorted out how to place him while working. Not the first Whitetail that has happened with, so no big deal.
Paint and Antlers
I wanted the paint on this skull to have a metallic feel, sort of like armor. But the god of thunder wouldn’t have just any armor. It had to have a little more pizzazz. So first I painted it gold and went over that with a thin layer of metallic bronze. That left the gold peeking through a bit, giving it just a little sparkle. I darkened up the antlers as well as they were still a bit discolored in places and were too light for this color scheme.
Bead Selection and Process
Rather than using one bead as the focal point for this beaded skull art piece, I decided to do something very different. I chose a black onyx “fan” set and teardrops and arranged them the full length down the center of the skull. Then used over 150 tiny Siam Swarovski® biocone crystals to create three diamond shapes inside (not shown here).
This was a complicated design. Therefore, as you can see, I did not try to lay everything out beforehand. I took some measurements and proceeded slowly and meticulously to ensure everything lined up just so.
I also used several unusually shaped beads in this design. Some I knew where I wanted them to fit in, others I let find their place as the designed progressed.
Sealing and Naming
Sealing the antlers gives them a little shine. However, for this beaded skull design I wanted them to appear more rugged so I chose not to use the sealant on them.
I sealed the smaller glass beads but left the onyx and faceted beads natural. The sealant can cause those beads to lose a bit of their luster.
The right side of his gorgeous non-typical antler shape immediately struck me as a “hammer”. I had wanted to use red and black beads on my next skull. Since, in Old Norse Thor is described as red haired it seemed only natural to name him for the hammer-wielding god of thunder. However, in Hollywood he has golden hair. So, adding some gold to his design seemed a good modern compromise and added a nice pop of color.
Legends say Thor is the fierce eyed, iron gloved god of not just storms and lightening but all weather, associated with the protection of mankind and fertility of the land. Strong in character, body and morals Thor is the good guy.